By Lila Bromberg
The Maryland Terrapins fell to the No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers in a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 8 in the team’s first head-to-head matchup of the season.
This was the third of four games on a challenging road trip for the Terrapins. They lost 3-0 to No. 2 Minnesota on Friday and fell 3-1 to No. 10 Wisconsin on Saturday. Quite the opposite, Nebraska (20-4, 13-1) came into the the game following a seven-game winning streak.
Nebraska took the first point of the first set and kept control of the set from there.
Despite remaining behind Nebraska, Maryland was able to keep up with its tough opponent better than expected toward the beginning of the set, but a 6-4 deficit quickly turned into 12-4.
Further into the set, the Cornhuskers almost completely suppressed their Terrapins, only allowing them a few points here and there. Maryland was down by as much as 19-7 toward the end of the set.
Maryland lost the set 25-11 on an error by sophomore Gia Milana. Nebraska had double the amount of its kills with 14 compared to Maryland’s seven.
The first point of the set was first ruled in favor of Nebraska but was then given to Maryland. Maryland took a 2-0 and then a 5-2 lead early, showing signs of strength coming out of a rough first set.
Maryland took a 9-6 lead on a controversial call. The ball went out of bounds on a Nebraska player on a hit by freshman Samantha Drechsel, but Nebraska challenged the play in question of whether the ball actually hit the hand of its player. The play was reviewed and the original rule in Maryland’s favor remained.
Maryland seemed to lose its momentum after the break for the play review, losing their lead at 10-10 and then falling behind 12-10, forcing head coach Steve Aird to call a timeout.
The timeout proved unsuccessful however, and Maryland found itself down 20-13 late in the set, before losing 25-15, again on a Maryland error.
Despite showing some signs of life in the second set, Maryland fell into a hole quickly, finding itself down 7-1 early in the third set.
Maryland was able to shorten the gap at 9-4 and kept the set slightly closer from there, but Nebraska remained in the secure lead.
Nebraska eventually ran away with the match and 14-10 deficit turned into 22-12 toward the end of the set.
Maryland put up one last fight, holding the set and match point from 24-13 to 24-16, but ended up losing the set and match at 25-16.
Nebraska dominated Maryland in all aspects throughout the match, with 38 kills compared to 25, 10 service aces to one, and a .406 hitting percentage against the Terrapins’ .081.
Maryland continues its road trip for its next match against No. 1 Penn State on Saturday. The Terrapins fell to the Nittany Lions 0-3 (17-25, 11-25, 23-25) and to say the matchup will be challenging is an understatement.
Maryland is still hanging onto hope of becoming NCAA Tournament eligible for the first time since 2005, but doing so will be a steep climb with a 16-11 overall and 5-10 conference record.